Philanthropy in the Next Generation

Amherst was founded, and has thrived, through the generous support of Amherst alumni, parents and friends. For today’s students, this tradition of philanthropy is more visible than ever. In turn, our students have found new ways to contribute to and enrich the College and the community.

Amherst was founded, and has thrived, through the generous support of Amherst alumni, parents and friends. For today’s students, this tradition of philanthropy is more visible than ever. In turn, our students have found new ways to contribute to and enric

Student Engagement Fellows (from left) Leilani Webb ’14, Jessica Maposa ’17,
Savannah West ’15, Mapate Diop ’16 and Wangene Hall ’14

In recent years, with the help of a team of Student Engagement Fellows, philanthropy on campus takes center stage each February with a weeklong, Valentine’s-themed event called Love My Alumni Week. Students learn about and recognize the myriad ways alumni support the College—as mentors, volunteers and steadfast donors. They also have the opportunity to express their gratitude to alumni by writing thank-you notes for their support and service. This year, more than 350 students wrote over 5,500 thank-you notes, more than doubling the previous year’s record.

Meanwhile, graduating seniors continue to join together in a Senior Gift tradition that dates to the 1930s. This student-led fundraising effort gives each class the chance to say thank you to Amherst with a gift of their own. This year’s senior class, led by Dan Carrizales ’14, successfully achieved participation from more than 85 percent of the class.

Outside the classroom, students increasingly represent Amherst in engagement with the wider community. In 2013–14, more than 1,000 students worked alongside community residents, many on a weekly basis. They tutored adult ESL learners, collected oral histories, hosted events for nonprofits as part of athletic teams and grew food at Amherst’s Book & Plow Farm. In these endeavors students recognize that they learn as much as they give.

“The education we receive at Amherst will benefit us throughout our lives,” said Engagement Fellow Jessica Maposa ’17. “We are proud to give back and help ensure that same level of education is available for many years to come.”